The impact of Nile crocodiles on rural livelihoods in northeastern Namibia

Type Journal Article - South African Journal of Wildlife Research
Title The impact of Nile crocodiles on rural livelihoods in northeastern Namibia
Volume 39
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2009
Page numbers 57-69
Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) are one of the few dangerous predators regularly
found outside protected wildlife areas. This is particularly so in northeastern Namibia
where an extensive network of rivers and wetlands coupled with successful conservation
measures has allowed crocodile populations to flourish since uncontrolled exploitation
ended over three decades ago. This area is predominantly communal land characterized by
numerous subsistence communities dependent on river and wetland resources. In recent
years, the combination of a growing human population and resurgent crocodile populations
has resulted in considerable conflict between humans and crocodiles. The principle objective
of this study was to quantify the impact of crocodiles on rural livelihoods.Data were obtained
from existing records and through community surveys on the lower Kavango, Chobe
and Kwando rivers and upper Zambezi River. Existing estimates suggest an annual loss of
~255 domestic cattle per year for northeastern Namibia whilst community survey estimates
suggest a substantially greater annual loss of ~6864 cattle per year.Community surveys also
revealed conflict between crocodiles and artisinal fishermen, with an estimated 71 500
fishing nets damaged by crocodiles per year. Human–crocodile conflict in Namibia may have
greater impacts than previously assumed,and may undermine conservation and development

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